PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. — Justin Rose, a U.S. Open champion and the No. 7 player in the world, shot 6-under 66 his first time playing Spyglass Hill and spent a gorgeous day listening to the fans call out his name. Except they weren't calling for him, and he knew it.
His partner in the Pebble Beach Pro-Am is singer/actor Justin Timberlake.
"I've never seen a demographic like that on a golf course where you're sort of running the gauntlet from one tee to the other. Everyone was under 21 and 80 percent female," Rose said. "I said, 'Okay, that moved the needle a little bit there.' "
Rose got off to a strong start Thursday in his debut at the event, where Chez Reavie had the low score at a tournament that needs three days to sort out because of the variety of courses.
Reavie made eagle on the 16th hole and shot 8-under 63 at Monterey Peninsula, which played just more than 11/2 strokes under par and was the easiest of the three courses. Freddie Jacobson made five birdies in a six-hole stretch and shot 7-under 65 at Pebble Beach, the only course to play over par (72.06) Thursday.
Cameron Smith and Bronson Burgoon each had 7-under 64 at Monterey Peninsula.
Jordan Spieth struggled with his short game — typically a strength — and opened with 71 at Spyglass Hill. Jason Day also had 71 at Spyglass, while Bubba Watson opened with 73.
Rose is here partly because he chose not to play in the Middle East swing on the European Tour, and partly because of a partner (Timberlake) whom he has come to know over the years.
Rose had seven birdies, holing out from a bunker on No. 10 and ending his round with a 50-foot birdie putt. He played Pebble and Monterey Peninsula in his practice rounds and realized he should've played Spyglass "because it's a pretty tough course."
"There's some strong holes on it," he said. "And I heard some strange reports about Spyglass, like the first few holes are great, then it disappears into the hills and it's not that good. That's not what I saw."